General News of Wednesday, 1 February 2017


GHC7bn saga: Bawumia got it twisted – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has accused Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia of getting it all wrong as far as his interpretation of an allegedly “hidden” expenditure of GHS7billion is concerned.

“We are displeased by the tendency of the Vice President to rush with information to the public and the media particularly the structural measures and reforms without taking time to understand the rational for the reforms and initiatives.

“The GHS7billion that the Vice President Dr Bawumia is talking about is as a result of a major initiative or reform on government contracts and expenditure, which is part of the GIFMIS project that the new administration is expected to continue implementing.

“The framework is also covered in the new Public Financial Management (PFM) Act, under the Budget Responsibility provisions,” the Minority explained at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that the fund was used for “part of the contract database and outstanding commitment, and does not constitute conventional definition of arrears. The government is obliged to incorporate the commitments, as a first charge on the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDA’s) budget 2017.”

Speaking at a Good Corporate Governance forum in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Bawumia said: "Where have they been hiding all these years and how are you supposed to manage an economy with faulty data. Getting the data right is really very key because it throws the entire budget into disarray.

"Because you are going into 2017 and suddenly you are told that by the way there is GHS7 billion that you have to pay next year that you didn't anticipate, this is the reality. We've been less than a month in office, but we have taken some steps to accelerate the implementation of some measures that will ensure accountability, transparency and integrity in the government."

Reacting to Dr Bawumia’s revelation earlier, Ketu North MP James Klutse Avedzi said: “It [GHS7bn] has been disclosed.

“ … He is only using that to deceive Ghanaians to say that there is a GHS7bn amount which definitely will be a duty of this government to pay and saying that how can they manage the economy with that amount, so which means that if they are not able to fulfil their promises, they will put the blame on the outstanding amount of GHS7bn which has not been paid by the previous government and because they will now be in a position to pay that, they will not be able to fulfil their promises,” Mr Avedzi told Nii Arday Clegg on Accra-based Starr FM’s morning show on Tuesday, 1 February.